Tronox Limited announced that, in connection with its planned acquisition of the titanium dioxide (TiO2) business of Cristal, a privately held global chemical and mining company headquartered in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the waiting period in the United States under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act expired at 11:59 p.m. EST on December 1, 2017 without further action by or communication from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. Jeffry Quinn, Tronox's chief executive officer, stated: "Based on consultation with counsel, we believe that expiration of the waiting period means that we can proceed toward completion of the transaction once all closing conditions are met. However, we have not been informed that the Federal Trade Commission has formally concluded its investigation. The Commission could conceivably seek to enjoin the transaction at a later time, but we believe such action would be unprecedented and contrary to the rationale of the pre-merger notification system that is the framework of the U.S. regulatory process."
American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 0.5% in August after falling 1.1% in July. In August, the index equaled 110.3 (2015=100) compared with 109.8 in July.
“August’s monthly gain, while small, was the first since March,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “It is important to remember that ATA’s tonnage data is dominated by for-hire contract freight, with a very limited amount of spot market freight. I continue to believe that tonnage has not recovered to pre-pandemic levels for two main reasons – broader supply chain issues, like semiconductor shortages, as well as industry specific difficulties, including the driver shortage and lack of equipment.
“Despite some supply chain issues, demand remains strong for trucking services generally. Truckload carriers are operating fewer trucks than a year earlier, which makes it difficult to increase freight volumes significantly,” he said.
July’s reading was revised up slightly to -1.1% from our August 24 press release.
Compared with August 2020, the SA index fell 0.5%, which was the second straight year-over-year drop. In July, the index was down 2.9% from a year earlier. Year-to-date, compared with the same eight months in 2020, tonnage is down 0.2%.
The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 114.5 in August, 2.2% above the July level (112). In calculating the index, 100 represents 2015. ATA’s For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index is dominated by contract freight as opposed to spot market freight.
Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 72.5% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 11.84 billion tons of freight in 2019. Motor carriers collected $791.7 billion, or 80.4% of total revenue earned by all transport modes.